Hair has always been a sensitive topic in the African-American community, especially now. With hundreds of haircare products featuring pictures of models looking slick, seductive and giving the look of “Don’t you wish you had straight hair like me?”
One can only imagine how the average black child can even perceive their own hair as beautiful when they see images of young girls their own age modeled on relaxer boxes with smooth hair and pretty ribbons adorning silky curls. True, there is a market for these products as Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair pointed out and I’m not hating since I was once a member of the “every 6-8 weeks” relaxer club. But on the other hand, where’s the push for naturally nappy and happy for our children?
Well there’s one author who’s looking to change that. Natalee Antoinette Johnson published a children’s book titled, My Magnificent Hair (In Our Words, Inc. 2016). It’s a visual book targeting black children with the very simple yet positive message of loving one’s hair and everything that makes it unique. Each page features photos of smiling, young brown faces with various hair textures and styles ranging from twists, braids, ponytails and even a fade.
As a children’s book, it reads like a nursery rhyme as it consistently repeats the title My Magnificent Hair as a constant reminder and mantra for young readers.
Although the book is 19 pages, it’s just enough to hold not only the attention span of young readers but also impactful enough to reinforce the beautiful crown of glory that sits atop their precious head. It’s also an easy read in which kids can follow along as a bedtime reading choice with a parent or a perfect selection for a grade school classroom.
At the end of the book, Natalee shares her own hair story as a Caribbean-Canadian child and mentions one hair ritual I remember all too well growing up – sitting on the floor after my mother washed my hair then she would part into sections to braid it. Natalee writes how she learned to appreciate the texture and versatility of her thick natural hair.
The overall message of the book is to tell our children that their hair is not a curse but a representation of strength and beauty. What a magnificent message indeed!
Lori Hill has spent the better part of the past 10 years in marketing, copywriting and editing roles in both mass media and with marketing agencies which prompted her to establish her own consultancy http://www.hillmoremarketing.com/. She’s a self-described quirky black chick, proud blerd and loves to live tweet and snark on Lifetime movies. Details and Dedication is her mantra.
You can follow her on Twitter: @lorihillmore